Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 13, 2010 7:37am-10:00am EDT

7:37 am
class and upper middle class that tax break that they want. host: de think it is a likely option? it is not really being talked about. caller: it has not. that is why i am suggesting it. i think that would be a reasonable flexible move on both. host: a comment from twitter -- they are questioning whether the bush tax cuts have actually improve the economy and lead to job creation and employment. that is one of our latest comments. looking at politics. we will be talking a lot about politics in the coming weeks as we head to the november 2 election. this is about john h. sununu, once the government -- governor of the state.
7:38 am
7:39 am
for another perspective, though, his counterpart says -- in such tarp -- talk was and deeper bottom. our question for you, should congressman boehner be flexible on tax cuts? he said on the sunday talk shows he may be willing to negotiate a little bit on that. let us hear from jeff on the republican line in cape cod. good morning. welcome to the program. caller: i think he is just a shrewd politician.
7:40 am
he knows he cannot act to stop the house from passing anything they want right now. a -- so i think he is just taking some wind out of the democrats sale. it would be the senate that would be the issue. but i actually don't think that tax cuts should be extended for really anyone. if the $3.70 trillion deficit projected and only $100 billion would be saved, that is still $3 trillion in debt. i am a middle-class person and i don't mind paying a little bit more for the long-term fiscal irresponsibility. i don't think that the tax cuts should be extended. and i do not think in two or three years they would ever raise taxes to offset the debt for expenses. i would rather see them expire and see what happens. tax cuts are in effect right
7:41 am
now. the economy is in the ditch. i don't see that they will create a new job because they are not reading them. host: and you are a republican? caller: yes. host: do you feel like you have allies in this discussion, the idea of actually lifting the unjust expire? caller: yes, i believe so. i believe there are more americans out there who actually would like to say a sound fiscal policy which is responsible. where everybody wants a free lunch -- they did not want to pay taxes. even members of my own party, have no alternatives on how to bring the government under control or lower debt. we are in a top economy. it has got to come out. i think with a more responsible fiscal policy when the government balances its but it
7:42 am
-- but it as close as it can, we will have a better recovery because in two or three years when it recovers nobody is going to say, let's raise taxes, because they would just say that would hurt the recovery and we can't raise taxes or balance anything because it will send us back into recession or something. so, no, i don't think doing the short-sighted thing for of the political purposes in november and talking about the tax not going up -- i think they should just leave it and let it expire and let the chips fall and see where we stand. i think we need to raise more money. for state and local. and without the federal government's help -- i am a republican but i do believe in fiscal responsibility and not just the mantra of conservatism which is i have mine and the with everybody else. host: secretary geithner warns
7:43 am
of the risk of washington inertia from "the wall street journal." treasury secretary said washington was at risk of undercutting an already sluggish recovery if it fails to buy quick additional support to businesses and individuals. let's go to one last caller. chris from chapel hill, north carolina on the independent mind. go right ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. first time. host: welcome. caller: congressman boehner, you know, it is about so much -- people saying $250,000 is for middle-class. probably like, what, 4% who make that much over, that make that.
7:44 am
if you -- somebody has to pay taxes. if you let the bush tax cuts expire on the rich people, you can benefit the economy by keeping the tax cut for the middle class and i think will create jobs. and you only spend about $3 billion but you can pay for that $3 billion from the loopholes in you are closing on the wealthiest at the top. it will pay for it. the middle class are the people who go out and spend money and it will grow the economy. that is a known fact. and also know this, that when republicans are in power the know, the money, the taxes for the rich get less and less, they pay less taxes. they already got loopholes. but with the tax cut, they are
7:45 am
paying zero. and what it does is that it drains all of the money from the middle class and drains the economy. host: thank you for all of your calls during our first segment. coming up next, we will look at what to expect from congress over the next couple of weeks in this pre-election period. we will talk to cq's david hawkings. we'll be right back. >> c-span's local content vehicles are travelling the country visiting communities and congressional districts as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to november's midterm elections. >> first and foremost is the idea that right now you have to have an agenda for american jobs. a lot of what i've spent the last two and a half doing is trying to get washington, both parties, to be a little more
7:46 am
focused on making things and growing things in america again instead of what i saw both parties were focused on before, just helping the banking and financial sector and everything will trickle down. >> the candidates running in the virginia race are tom periello freshman democrat, elected in a wave of victories during obama's victory in 2008, and against him is challenger robert -- republican state senator from chatham, the seventh part of the district, and jeff parker, tea party member and independent businessman from the danville area. this race is getting a lot of national attention because republicans see periello as one of the most vulnerable democrats in congress, he represents a somewhat conservative district and he voted in favor of obama's major initiatives -- health care, capt. trade, stimulus, so on. and two years ago he was elected
7:47 am
by the smallest margin of any congressional race in the country. they think -- the republicans are seeing this as a pickup but democrats, however, say tom perriello is a fighter, very tough campaigner and because he supported the same initiatives that he is getting support of national democrats just like national republicans are trying to taken down. in 2008, perriello, a young lawyer from charlottesville, he challenged a six-term conservative republican and beat him by 7 1927 votes. this is the closest margin of any race that year in congress. some people say he just rode in on the obama wave. but in fact, while certainly that was a factor, the va fifth district is fairly conservative leaning had actually mccain won it by 50.6% of the vote that year. it so it is traditionally a
7:48 am
republican stronghold. i think it has become somewhat less so. but still a conservative leaning district represented by democrats. virginia's fifth district is the size of new jersey. essentially triangle shape with charlottesville, home of university of virginia and monticello, thomas jefferson's home, down to south side, north carolina border. -- which includes the cities of martinville and part of lynchburg. the economy has hit the district fairly hard. martin'sville, for example, has been hit fairly hard. unemployment tops 20%. it is bad, but not quite as bad as elsewhere in the district. unemployment continues to be proud of the route the district. there have been a number of
7:49 am
foreclosures, like everywhere. people who have their jobs, the pay has stagnated over the past few years. certainly a big problem. tom perriello is certainly a moderate democrat. where as some of the big-ticket priorities, he has voted in favor. he voted in favor of things like health care reform. he voted in favor of cap and trade, clean energy bill. he voted in favor of the economic stimulus bill. so some people say he is a liberal democrat because he is part of the big-ticket items. but on the other hand, he has broken with his party in some cases. for example, he does not believe that the assault weapons ban should be re-implemented. strong believer in second amendment rights. he voted against the president
7:50 am
obama budget because he said it did not go far enough in curtailing the federal deficit -- deficit. robert hurd is more traditional -- he has been in the general assembly in number of years. he has been endorsed by the family foundation, all of the conservative leaning groups. a big part of this message in his run for congress is the federal government spending is out of control. his view that government regulations have gotten too onerous. and if he were to be elected he would work for lower tax burdens for businesses and individuals. in the legislature, his record, however, has been fairly mixed. while he has been a hard r in the legislature, he did break with his party in to tell them four and would have for $1.4 billion tax increase to balance the state budget. he took a lot of heat for that at the time and during the republican primary this year as
7:51 am
well. jeff clark as running against not only the democrat, perriello, which embodies the biggest concerns -- federal government, what he views as creeping socialism taking over the country, but he also has to rum -- run against an establishment republican who served in the legislature for a number of years. jeff park has struggled to get his voice heard. robert hurd does not want to allow them into the debate so while they are working that all out, whether or not they will be included in any of the candidate forums, it is difficult. the only poll that has come out in the general election shows perriello and by 20 points and republican robert hurd has a sizable lead. but the same poll to be years ago showed perriello down by 30 points but he came back to win it. if there is anything we know in the fifth is things can change quickly and it might be more
7:52 am
competitive. >> "washington journal" continues. host: david hawkings is managing editor of "c q" weekly. what you expect to be on the agenda the coming weeks? guest: not a whole lot, to be honest. it appears officially congress is supposed to be back for four weeks starting today and tomorrow. increasingly the word from the democrats is they will only stick around for three weeks because so many members are equal to go -- eager to go home and campaign. they are off to a relatively slow start this week. the senate appears to have the votes to pass the small business benefits baltimore. one republican, senator voinovi ch from ohio, who is retiring this year, says he has no political reason not of the small businesses so he will help the democrats to move this bill through cloture tomorrow, and
7:53 am
that will be the marquee event in the senate. a house, almost nothing. the big bill on their agenda this week is to create a rural -- some sort of rural environment befriending -- friendly program. not coming back with a bang. host: talking about the possible extension of the bush era tax cuts. how does that play into the dialogue and also any real votes? guest: it is not clear to me and the people i talked to whether that will come to a head in the three weeks before the election or whether one side or the other will conclude they will have to extend that debate or delay that debate until the lame-duck session, which is inevitable. not the outcome, congress will come back appears on november 15 for at least a week or two then and then maybe after thanksgiving if they have a long been a list of things to do.
7:54 am
tax cuts is the big deal between here and the end of the year. something has to get done, otherwise of the tax code will revert to the way it was 10 years ago. which is in neither party's best interest. host: and the discussion about the longer they wait to make any decisions, it actually will complicate paperwork, logistics. is that on the minds of people? guest: i think it definitely is. there is a cliche in the business community that more than anything else what they want is certainty. tax me, don't tax me, raise taxes, lower, just tell me what you are going to do so i can make my business plans accordingly. that is what congress hears more and more. they just want certainty so they can make their business plans. the paperwork and printing of tax forms is a relatively minor matter but it does cost some money and creates stress. host: how big of a political victory is this small business bill the senate presumably will take up?
7:55 am
guest: i think the democrats will portray any victory as a big victory. small businesses are one of the big engines of the economy. certainly one of the big engines of the republican base. so, if the democrats can sort of neutralize small business and the orient at them by passing this little bit of help, it is a deal. it is not a big deal. it just a deal. host: winners and losers of the summer recess -- are people taking stock of who -- taking stock of who is coming out on top, the successful messaging? guest: undeniably the winner is the republican campaign operation. the momentum has clearly only on their way. the democrats are trying to sort of staunch the fallout, the bleeding. they have done a little bit -- but i am sure you have had many
7:56 am
other guests who are better informed that this then i am -- but all of the momentum race by race, if you look race by race as well as nationally, it is all going the republicans' way. host: looking at the level of productivity in the coming weeks, president obama laid out his own economic goals and ideas. 10 gain traction question on guest: there is just not enough time to gain much traction. the proposal from the president last week was a $50 billion transportation and infrastructure spending program. this is probably going to take the phone switchboard light up when i say that $50 billion in the world of transportation and infrastructure in a country of 304 million people is not that much money. it is sort of a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of transportation needs. congress every few years passes a big transportation bill was several times that amount of money in it. it seems to some democrats to be
7:57 am
a little too late. and republicans just sort of rub their hands together and said, a ha, the president's proposal and everything is to throw more money at the problem. i am not sure there is going to be much momentum for that. to repeat what we have all known about the dynamic in the congress all year, it takes 60 votes to do anything in the senate. it is very difficult now for the democrats to come up with the 60 votes because they only have 59 of their own and republicans a dead said against almost anything -- what i said about senator voinovich is a rarity and probably increasingly rare with each passing day. host: what is it congress should do in terms of the appropriations and things that have deadlines -- sort of the logistics? guest: the logistics are, you pointed to job one which is in
7:58 am
theory, the fiscal year -- one fiscal year ends and another begins on october 1. just a couple of weeks from now. in theory. by that point, congress is supposed to have sent to the president of the president is supposed to have signed a dozen of different bills for these appropriation bills that keeps the federal government operating. it looks like maybe one of those will get done by the october 1 deadline. and the other 11 will not. at the very minimum, the president and congress would have to agree on a continuing resolution, kind of a running in place bill that will keep the government operating at levels of the fiscal year now ending for a week or two or three or four, probably until after the election when congress comes back and tries to cancel -- tackle this again. host: you can join the conversation with david hawkings, managing editor of "cq weekly."
7:59 am
we have a story from the "cq" staff looking at "don't ask, don't tell." democrats were going to use this to pass the defense authorization measure that contains a provision repealing the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law. of the house passed its version in may but the prospects for taking of this bill in the senate has dimmed and there is a recent court ruling that has affected that. can you elaborate? guest: at the end of last week a federal judge declared it unconstitutional. this obviously continues b-17 years after "don't ask, don't tell" was created in a very sort of awkward and uncomfortable compromise between congress and
8:00 am
the clinton administration. it remains a hot button in the military, and the socially conservative community, the liberal community. it has inflamed passions on all sides. at the moment, i would say it is the thing closest to the congressional legislative agenda that speaks to the so-called culture wars we have been fighting in this country and they have been fighting in the capital for a couple of decades. .
8:01 am
we asked on friday, has congress ever not passed a defense bill? i think the answer is no. i think in the modern era, sooner or later, they always get it done. but now it sounds like it will be after the election. host: let's go to a call. crystal from baltimore, more, on the democrats line. good morning. hi. you're on the air with david hawkings. caller: hi, yeah. the question that i would like to ask your guest, i want to know if he knows if the c.d.l. estimates that if the bush taxes remain in effect, that the budget will run up to $4 trillion. i want to get confirmation of that, please. guest: oh, you mean -- i think, crystal, what you're asking is, if the bush tax cuts stay in place, will the deficit run up to $4 trillion? i don't think that's the number. that would be about -- well, it
8:02 am
would be quadruple what we're at now, so i don't think that's the number. i haven't actually looked at the charts lately. most economists and most official budget forecasters, the c.b.o., which is the congressional budget office, the o.m.b., which is the president's budget office, and even most independents believe that if the bush tax cuts continue in effect, then that will increase, that will tend to increase the long-term forecasts for the deficit, and you add up all those deficits, and you get the big national debt, which is now more than $13 trillion. there are some economists that believe that, keeping those tax cuts going and an announcement that the tax cuts would stay alive would spur some economic development, which would increase economic activity, which would increase tax revenue, which would tend to bring it down. but that's, i think, the minority view. host: let's go to mary. understand pent caller in greenwood, indiana. mary, good morning.
8:03 am
caller: good morning. i want to ask mr. david, the american polls, i want to know, do they really don't think that we watch tv. the republicans been saying no to this president ever suspects he been in the office. they haven't tried us do anything. they haven't did nothing. so mr. president obama will be back in the white house. thank you. guest: ok. i think this is one of the great increasingly partisan capital. this one of the one of the basic partisan debates that's been going on for almost two years, which is who backed away from bipartisanship first. each side thinks the other one did it. the president's view was that he made some overtures early on and that the republicans concluded politically that it was not in mile an hour best interest to help him out, and the republicans say the exact same thing. they say they reached out to the president early on, and the president concluded it was not
8:04 am
in his best interest to work with the republicans. there's a famous story that eric canter, the republican whip, the if the republicans win control of the house, would certainly be a prominent leader, he was in a meeting over the economic stimulus bill and laid out a republican proposal, and the president essentially brushed him off and said, you know, we had an election and i'm the guy who won, so, you know, pipe down. but on the other side, the republicans have plenty of evidence to suggest the democrats backed away. host: a trying relationship, democrats warn obama that his dealings with congress have delayed the party's agenda and helped put hill control in peril. your reporters write about how, as they say, this is the white house design to have the best congressional relations in modern times. president obama was the first president in half a century
8:05 am
whose previous job was as a member of congress, he drew on a lot of members of congress to work in his cabinet. u a chart of the people who have spent time on capitol hill, everyone from vice president biden, interior secretary ken salazar, rahm emanuel, what happened? guest: well, it's a terrific story by brian friel, who was sitting right across from me as a competitor the last time i was on this show, so we're glad we have him working for us now. and kerry young, and they -- they just sort of -- it was one of those situations where the more you listen to the subtext, as our reporters like to have the time to do, the more they sort of heard this surprising annoyance among not republicans, but congressional democrats in their dealings with the white house. it was anowance and surprise annoyance as the story says. a third of the cabinet was previously a member of congress, starting with the president and vice president.
8:06 am
and then beyond that, dozens of senior congressional aides in almost every department had been senior hill staffers as the chart also sort of points out. and yet, they made some -- what congress has called continue to make sort of rookie mistakes, want returning phone calls, you know, not consulting, want giving advance word when courtesy advance word when the white house was going to do something that congress would want to react to. and it has -- no one is suggesting that the president's legislative agenda has been run off the rail as a consequence, but what they are suggesting is it's made things unnecessarily complicated and sort of antagonistic and awkward. guest: andrew is our next caller, calling from louisiana, on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. host: welcome. you're on with david hawkings. caller: yeah, david, what i'm starting with, you know, obama made a speech, he said he pulled all the troops out of
8:07 am
there. that's a lie. i've got a kid there. what makes me so mad, he's an envoy right now. when he pulled all those troops out, why did he pull the heavy armored division out when you leave all of your 50,000 there, ok? to me, he should have done it the other way. you get your other people out of there, you leave your heavy armored division there, you take -- we got two soldiers that just got killed there, ok? from there, man. we're supposed to have trained, ok? now obama says, you know, i got every bit of that heavy armored division out of there. he lied to the american people on national tv, so nobody can tell me any different from
8:08 am
this, because i know that the kid is still there. guest: i think you make a very interesting point. and obviously there are thousands of people like you who have children or siblings that are still overseas, that the perception among the american people and some of the president's critics would say this is a perception that the president tried to perpetuate was that he had ended the war over there, had ended our military involvement, and that's obviously not ads simple as that, that while the president did bring the combat forces home, there's still thousands of support personnel over there and that they've just essentially changed their mission or declared that they have changed their mission from a combat mission to a supporting of the iraqi government. it's a problem that i think the president will have to be
8:09 am
dealing with for some months to come. host: we'll be talking more about the situation in iraq later on in the program. for now, let's go to baton rouge, louisiana, where joan is a democratic caller. hi, joan. caller: hi. how are you? host: fine, thank you. go right ahead. caller: i would like for him to explain to me, how can anyone call a tax drop? in other words, it was voted on for 10 years. then it was supposed to expire. how can you call that a tax increase? there is a business that says they're going to give you 12 months of interest-free, it on the interest-free credit for using their business of purchasing something. if you don't pay that out at the end of 12 months, then you have interest added. how can -- would you call that an interest increase when they've already told you from the beginning?
8:10 am
guest: that's an interesting way of looking at it. i think anybody who would see that would describe it as a tax increase. even if they knew it was coming, it was still increasing. there are others who make the opposite argument and say, if you then continue what is the current law, should you describe that as a tax cut. that's fair to describe that as a tax cut. it's sort of what the president's side would say, that the republicans want to cut taxes even further. so that rhetoric gets argued by the way. host: are there other items you are going to be tracking over the next couple of weeks? welcome to a vote on the floor of the house and senate, but are still going to be moving in committee, laying the ground work for movement in the future.
8:11 am
guest: the cover story behind our cover story, which you kindly talked about, is a roster of actually three dozen of pieces of legislation that we had our reporters look at over the summer, the three dozen most prominent issues that congress was supposed to tackle or that they suggested that they were going to try to tackle this year. everything from the taxes wee been discussing to the appropriations bill that we've been discussing to some more routine matters, reauthorization of aviation programs, for example. another big one i think that came up just the other week, also because of a federal judge's ruling, not unlike don't ask, don't tell, is stem cell research. a federal judge ruled over the august recess essentially put a halt legally to federally funded stem cell research. and the most straight forward and simplest way to get around
8:12 am
that ruling would be for the congress to enact legislation that they actually sent george w. bush twice and he vetoed twice, which would simplify it, but essentially lift all federal restriction. so this is one the house will pass in the next two weeks. again, it's 60 votes to turn on the lights in the morning are required, it's a long shot. host: let's hear from george in fort edward, new york, on our independent line. good morning, george. caller: good morning. i don't believe that $50 billion for national infrastructure is a great deal of money. that's a minimal amount of money. also, i think 9 middle class isn't too harder, i think it's more like maybe below 50,000 to in excessive of 100,000.
8:13 am
it seems like a lot of campaign recreation. it seems like campaigning is more recreation than doing their job. maybe if they spent more time doing their job than performing recreation. and also, healthcare, people -- i've heard it a lot here, that because it doesn't work in europe, it can't work here, and that we're the greatest nation in the world with the greatest health care. we have the most expensive healthcare, and who says that we can't take something that doesn't work, but somewhat works overseas, and make it work here? guest: george, i think -- the point i want to pick up here is what you said about campaigning is a little bit of recreation for these members. i don't think they view it that way, as sort of recreation or even, to be honest, very fun, especially if you're a democrat in a politically divided constituency trying to win
8:14 am
re-election. but beyond that, that is a sort of rudimentary, fundamental, strategic decision that every congressional leadership needs to make every two years at this time, which is what do the voters want to see more? do they want to be able to turn on c-span, you know, at all hours of the day and night and see the roll call tote board in the house and senate counting up votes, which means that members are here in town, or is it -- because sometimes that's what voters want. they want to see congress hard at work solving the problems. this is not one of those years. this is one of those years where congress is in such poor repute that many, many voters, most voters, the vast majority of voters, are disdainful when they turn on the tv and see congress working and say, i wish those people would just turn off lights and get the heck out of there. and that has the added benefit of allowing the members to take that message and then go back to their districts and shake
8:15 am
hands at coffee shops or at least make tv ads. host: the situation for congressmen charles rangel, we are going to see that unfold a little bit this week. he goes on trial to stand for 13 counts involving allegations stemming from his financial dealings. what are we going to be seeing, and how will that either gum up the works or make things happen in the next couple of weeks? guest: well, the first thing we're going to see this week, even before that house ethics committee proceeding gets going, is we're going to see the results of the new york primary tomorrow night. congressman rangel is standing for renomination as the democratic nominee to, i think, it's his 16th term in the house. he's been around since 1970. he won in a primary by defeating adam clayton powell, the legendary congressman who also got into significant ethical trouble. he's now got several primary challengers, one of whom is adam clayton powell iii. it appears as though congressman rangel is going to
8:16 am
survive that primary. he actually got a somewhat surprising -- surprising to some of us here, maybe not surprising to people in new york -- endorsement from mayor bloomberg over the weekend, who said that charles rangel was the go-to guy in washington for new york city and it was essentially better to keep him on the job than get rid of him. so assuming that mr. rangel gets through his primary, he's been essentially a lock for election in november. it's a solid 8 democratic part of new york city, harlem. and then the trial will kick into high gear. there is no indication that we have picked up that mr. rangel is interested in any kind of plea agreement or admitting to a lesser charge. he believes he's totally innocent, he's done nothing wrong, he made a very impassed speech on the house floor so that effect. so it will be interesting to see how swiftly the congress moves, because house democrats, many other house democrats, feel he's a political albatross
8:17 am
around their neck. they feel as though if they punish mr. rangel emphatically, that might help them politically, by showing that they claim that they were going to clean up want house, clean up, and then for the last four years, the republicans have been noting that the democrats have had enough problems of their own, so this would be a way, to be honest, for the democrats to show they have some ethical spine if their punch one of their most powerful members. host: let's hear from bear i, a republican in fayetteville, north carolina. caller: yes, good morning. i have one issue really, and what i've noticed is there's a way that all the politicians act like we're too ignorant to run this country. what bothers me about that is they expect us to be start enough to understand whenever
8:18 am
they throw these pitches at us, they think we're smart enough to understand that, but yet we can't go and phone in every morning and decide our own issue like we need a government to do it for us. and then what gets me is the people they use to enforce these issues with the political and the military, you know, they create an economy where everybody has to join the military or starve or join the police force. and they use these police force and military against poor people in other parts of the world. guest: i'm not sure what there is to say to that other than you sound like a pretty dissatisfied voter, and i'd be fascinated to know who your congressman is and whether you're going to vote for him or not. host: you brought up the issue of international stage, where the u.s. falls on that. one thing that could come up with the start treaty. can you talk to us about what its prospects are and if it has any chance of moving.
8:19 am
this is a story from "the washington post" today, it says the senior republican on senate foreign relations committee will present democrats on monday with his version of a new resolution -- or his version of a resolution of ratification for the new start treaty, which may offer the best opportunity to gather needed g.o.p. support for passage of the nuclear weapons agreement with russia. guest: i assume that's senator lugar, who has been probably historically the most prominent senator on arms control issues of either party in the last 20 or 30 years. he is eager to get this done. he is one of the relatively few republicans whose eager to get this done. senator john kerry is chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, also eager to get it done. so this sounds like there is going to be a push. now, we have been joking a little bit this morning about 60 votes are required in the senate to get anything done. the framers of the constitution
8:20 am
in their wisdom decided to make things even more difficult for an international treaty. that requires 67 votes. so that means that, you know, that means that eight republicans have -- would have to vote for this. and the climate is such that it just -- it seems that that's a tall order, especially in the few weeks remaining. now, there's no hard deadline for this treaty to be ratified t. doesn't have to be rat feud before the election. -- it doesn't have to be ratified before the election. there are many republicans who think that the republicans have a chance to win the senate and that they could move this on their own early next year. so i would be, operating from somewhat of a position of ignorance here, i would say the odds of getting it done before the election are long. but with senator lugar making this push, that changes my mind just a little bit. host: let's hear from cynthia in st. charles, missouri, democrats line. caller: good morning. i'm calling about the bush tax cuts.
8:21 am
in between 2006 and 2008, the bush tax cuts only created like a million jobs, and those were like under the homeland security, when they created the department of homeland security, and over $600 billion went to china to build new factories and stuff. other jobs have been trickling overseas. they've been creating work for the chinese and other countries and stuff, and jobs are being lost here. we need a new manufacturing base, and i think congress should put bills in place to keep manufacturing here in this country, give incentives. as far as obama's $50 billion for infrastructure, that's way too smule. during the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, america grew by leaps and bound because of frain structure. that's what we need to work on, and green jobs. guest: you are -- speaking he will againly right out of a playbook of aspects of the democratic party that say that this is -- that the president, for what he has done, in
8:22 am
historic terms, the stimulus was a big and expensive bill, the economic stimulus package from early 2009, $800 billion or so designed in large measure to preserve and increase jobs, big deal. i mean, bills that have size don't come along very often. but there are some who say much more needs to be done. and there's a compelling economic argument to be made for that, but obviously there's compelling argument to be made on the other side, and we're just in a matter of standoff. i think what -- what i think viewers sort of ought to be aware of, i think, is that no matter what the outcome of the election this fall, even if the republicans take control of the house and maybe the senate as well, it won't be by such enormous numbers that there won't be very quickly sort of a mile an hour or image debates we're having now. we're in a position in american
8:23 am
history, like we were during the great society, where one side has such lopsided control of the process that they just will always win. we're in a long period and probably began with the divided 2000 election when there was a 50-50 senate as well as a disputed presidential election of very close balances of power. host: chuck in sarasota, florida, go ahead. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i feel a lot of people talking, but it's a lot of half truths and not the full truth. the tax cuts, when they were enacted back in 2000, were for 10 years before the administration has been handled a $1 trillion surplus projected for the next 10 years. now we're 10 years later, and you have a -- i don't know whether it's $700 million or $3
8:24 am
trillion deficit that's being passed forward. it's a big difference between a deficit that's going to grow every year automatically and a sur mrs. which was there to pay for the tax cuts. that's why they ended in 10 years. guest: well, that's exactly right, chuck, which is the rules of congress are that, generally, that you can't pass a tax cut or do anything to the budget that's going to last longer than 10 years, and when the big tax cut went through in the spring of 2001, there were big, big surpluses as far as the eye could see, and there was a general consensus, starting with the federal reserve chairman, alan greenspan, could the country could afford a tax cut of this size and still have plenty of money left over, and president bush famously said that he would promise to preserve budget surpluses unless there
8:25 am
was a war or a national state of emergency or a recession. and, of course, nine years ago this weekend, september 11 happened, and we had essentially all three over night. so clearly when the tax cuts were enacted, it was per cede, there was a broad perception that the country could afford them. 10 years is a very long time in the economy and in national politics, and the situation has changed. host: republicans line, good morning. caller: good morning. i have two comments i'd like to make. first of all, the people seem to forget who got us in the shape that we're in now.
8:26 am
we had thousands of dollars that -- host: touching on this issue that president obama talked about, it was the guy before me. but is that message effective now? guest: apparently it still does work in some parts of the country. ohio is one place where, for example, the democrats are encouraging the president to continue to blame as much as possible on president bush, in part because so many of their candidates this fall are veterans of the bush administration. senatorial candidate rob portman, a bush administration, the budget chief, trade negotiator. the governor, the gubernatorial candidate was a republican for congressional leader during the
8:27 am
bush administration who helped advance the president's budget. it's been pointed that it's surprising to me, because this is a country that, for better or worse, has a relatively short memory collectively, and so i'm a bit surprised that after two years, the president being the president and, you know, taking ownership emphatically saying, you know, i'm in charge now, that blaming it on the bush administration is working. host: callers have been mentioning climate change, energy legislation, are we going to see any movement on that? guest: well, they're right to not mention it, because those are dead letters for now. there's some letter about an energy bill that would be so narrow that it would be not hardly worth discussing. right, this was going to be, again, for better or worse, the president came to office with a very ambitious legislative agenda. there are some who argue because he had such a big and ambitious agenda, he is not gin the credit for actually
8:28 am
enacting three things, the economic stimulus, the healthcare overhaul, and the financial regulatory bill, which, whether you like them or not, they're going to be in the history books as major changes in our government's policy. as a result, there are some of his allies to say what about climate change, what about number four on the list? it would be historically, without much precedent, except maybe during the new deal and the great society for the president to have gotten four things done in two years. whether it exists, i think climate change is off the table for the rest of his firm term. if he were to be re-elected, and there's a democratic surge in 2012, then maybe. host: let's hear from darlene, independent line. go ahead, darlene. caller: i think it's amazing that they get away for blaming bush for this recession when the economy was doing just fine up until 2006 when the democrats took over congress.
8:29 am
everything was ok in 2006, and then democrats came in and wouldn't allow bush to do anything. and also, i would like to thank the republicans for saying no and wish more democrats would have had the guts to say no rather than allowing themselves to be brought out. guest: it's interesting you link the economy to who controls the congress. i don't think even most congressional leaders would strive for that sort of connection between their own performance and the economy. but it's an interesting observation. i think you're right, the economy was healthy in 2006. it will be interesting. it's just how long he will embrace the notion and he his republican colleagues should be in charge of the economy. host: david hawkings, thank you
8:30 am
so much for being with us. coming up next, we'll talk about iraq and what's next for that country with colin kahl. but first, let's take a 2010 exean update. it's primary day in new york on tuesday, and there are two democratic primary races that we're watching this morning. shawn miller is with the hill newspaper, and shawn, let's begin with that 15th congressional district. charlie rangel and his ethical problems, how's it playing out, and what's the latest? >> greta, good morning. well, the latest is charlie rangel is campaigning hard to keep his job. he was doing some african-american churches on sunday morning yesterday. he was out in harlem, you know, out talking to some constituents, not knocking on doors, but shaking hands. i mean, he's really, you know, running as though he's confident of the win, and it looks like he may win the primary. >> who's running against him, and any chance that one of these candidates could pull off the defeat of this long-time incumbent? >> well, he's running against a
8:31 am
state assemblyman, adam clay clayton powell iv, and a community parker who's less well known. adam clayton powell has tried to use the ethical charges against rangel to say that it's time for a change, it's time to bring somebody new in. but charlie rangel, you know, remains popular. he's brought in money to his district. he's really an icon for folks up there. so it doesn't look like he's going to lose despite the ongoing ethical problems he faces. a and what about joyce johnson? she was endorsed by the "new york times." does this help her? >> the endorsement may help a little bit, but this is a race where the other candidates just have such high, you know, name i.d. that that's certainly the helper, but she was trailing and fundraising, she waits about half of what adam clayton powell brought in.
8:32 am
but certainly the "new york times" endorsement would help. >> why are the likes of former president bill clinton and new york mayor michael bloomberg jumping in at this late hour, recording calls for charlie rang snell >> well, that's probably a case -- obviously he has some concerns that these ethical problems may turn some of his long-time supporters off, but charlie rangel has been in congress, you know, for decades. he has a lot of chips he can call in. this is a situation where he's called in favors from old friends. obviously the mayor, who use worked with, and president clinton, and those calls are certainly going to help them from modern democrats and folks who may have been on the fence about him after all the press he's gotten. >> and after this primary battle, is it likely charlie rangel witnesses a general election, and what does that mean for the democrats running across the country who want to
8:33 am
distance themselves from charlie rangel? >> yeah, i mean, if he gets this primary, it's quite likely that he will return to congress as the democratic representative for the 15th district of new york. does this cause democrats problems across the country? you know, yes and no. i mean, it is an issue that republicans can try to make hay out of it and say, oh, you know, your congressman has taken money from charlie rangel. but without -- without other cases, you know, to go with that, it becomes -- it can become quite isolated and, you know, folks in swing districts and pennsylvania likely don't know who charlie rangel is. >> let's go to the 14th district in new york. caroline muloney, 18-yearen couple bent there. this is the first time she's had a room challenger. who's running against her? >> against a young attorney, and this is a woman who's had a lot of energy and really tried
8:34 am
to give caroline muloney a run for her money. care len muloney, she was obviously concerned about this race a little bit. she got bill clinton to send out -- to send out an email on her half. she campaigned vigorously, they've had debates. she's expected to take this primary on tuesday. >> and her opponent is a former clinton fundraiser, so the way it was reported in the papers is that the clintons sort of chose here who they want to win this race. >> right, yeah. i mean, yeah, she was a former clinton staffer, and this is, you know, it may have been a case where she was running against an incumbent whose time wasn't necessarily up, but she certainly raised her name i.d. and got her name out there. so this is likely one of those runs that sets up another race down the road.
8:35 am
>> all right, sean miller with the hill newspaper campaign reporter. thank you very much. >> greta, thank you. >> for more information about campaign 2010, go to our website, host: colin kahl joins us, the assistant defense secretary for the middle east. you were in iraq for the changeover, the change in mission. tell us about what that experience was like and where you think things go from here. guest: well, it was a good experience. i traveled with secretary gates. we flew into the air base in the province, which used to be one of the most violent provinces. it's been pretty quiet. we visited with troops in ramadi, and then we went over to baghdad, where we gave an award, and there was a ceremony for his replates 789, and then we had the change of ceremony,
8:36 am
and it was really an opportunity for us to thank the troops, but also to recognize an important milestone that was put on the calendar by president obama, which was the completion of the transition from combat mission to a stability operation mission. so it was important, it was historic. it was a good trip. host: colin is on a three-year public service leave from georgetown university, where he's regularly a professor in the edmund walsh school of foreign service. so the middle east, roque has been a huge part of your career and your focus, both in your studies, as well as in your professional exafflet in the administration. what was it like for you to see this change over? how significant was it for you to witness? guest: well, it was a big deal, because i've been involved with this issue for a while. i was involved in the obama campaign as an advisor on the iraq issue, in addition to my georgetown affiliation. asian. i was a senior fellow at a think tank focusing on iraq. so it was very interesting to make the transition from
8:37 am
viewing iraq intellectually to actually being a practitioner on a daily basis. and it was obviously a very politically charged issue during the campaign, and then candidate obama was very committed to whatever voting of moving forward that way that responsibly ended the war, so trying to execute that vision in office is something i'm very proud of. so in that context, september 1 was an important date. host: threats to uth in iraq, and it details a recent attack that happened there, insurgents that needed a vehicle outside the base. the reporters say the attack was a reminder unnecessary to iraqis that the shift in the american mission did not pretend an end to insurgent violence. it also undercorpsed the ambiguous and still dangerous position for americans and their role as advisors to iraq's beleaguered security forces who face almost daily attacks from insurgents. what is the message to americans versus the message to
8:38 am
iraqis that -- is it a different message? is the message to iraqis need to be we're not going anywhere, we haven't abandoned you, we're still here? how are they communicating that? guest: one of the things that we communicate to the iraqis all the time is that they shouldn't equate this with disengagement from iraq. i've had the opportunity to travel to iraq not only a number of times with the secretary, but also with the vice president, who's kind of the senior envoy for this administration on iraq's issues. one of the things that vice president biden always says is that we anticipate that our engagement with iraq will continue to deepen. it's just that the nature of that engagement is shifting from a predominantly military focus to a civilian focus. but we look forward to building a long-term partnership with iraq. the story is a very important reminder, and this story frames it the right way, which is we've made this transition from
8:39 am
combat to military, but iraq remains a dangerous place, and our forces remain in daily contact, and they're going to find themselves in harm's way. the good news is they're fully capable of defending themselves. host: where do you hope to see things in a year? guest: well, the first thing we have to do is complete the government process. iraq had a successful election in march. we've now had several months of very involved government negotiation. it's our hope that now with ramadan behind us that those negotiations will -- that their pace will pick up and that we'll got a government formed fairly soon. i think as we move into 2011, i think some of the big-ticket items that are going to have to be increased are a number of outstanding political disputes, particularly along the kurd dimension. it relates to their oil, distribution of oil revenue, and the status of certain disputed areas, like kirkuk.
8:40 am
host: from the "philadelphia inquirer," this story comes from their service, a service in the "l.a. times." iraq neighbors eager to fill void left by u.s. it looks at where iraq is situated in the middle east and who's on the borders and what their motivations and interests might be in that country. as the u.s. troops accelerate their withdrawal from iraq, a fierce and potentially dangerous struggle to fill the vacuum is gathering pace montgomery the country's often bitterly opposed neighborhoods. to the south, saudi arabia. to the north, turkey. to the west, syria. iraq's allies and saudi arabia's rival, talk to us about what other countries are going to be looking for in iraq. is there a danger of them filling in "void," or do you even see there's a void? froip i think that's probably not the way i would frame t. all of iraq's neighbors have an interest in iraq not falling apart. i think that's true. even in the case of iran, although iran's behavior is
8:41 am
most troubling because they continue to provide assistance to certain shia militant groups inside iraq. but even iran doesn't have an interest in seeing iraq become a failed state. but i think what you're seeing in terms of iranian involvement in iraq, saudi involvement in iraq, turkish involvement in iraq, syrian involvement in iraq is a recognition of how important iraq is in the region. it's one of the reasons why we're not going to abandon iraq, why we're going to continue to build a long-term partnership with them, because iraq's going to continue to be a very, very important country in a very, very important region. host: let's get to the calls. maria joins us on our democrats line from dallas. hi, maria. caller: hi, c-span. this is a great show. i think that the votes are going to be the difference makers in this election. i think the latino votes have been alienated with all of the ruckus going on, is going to be the biggest change.
8:42 am
host: you're talking about the midterm elections here in november, correct? caller: oh, yes. i think this is going to set the elections in november. i think this is going to be a big deal. host: as a democrat, what are you hoping to see happen in iraq? are you satisfied with the direction president obama is going in? caller: oh, yes, i'm very satisfied with that. our website that we created,, we say the republicans ran this country in the ground. host: hi, thomas, from detroit. caller: first of all, i like to thank c-span. i enjoy the program, being able to call in and participate. i have a comment about iraq in regards to the previous caller, the republican. she was talking about her son being over there and ob telling a big lie. i think president bush lied not
8:43 am
only to the american people, but to the entire world, to get into iraq in the first place. secondly, as far as spending goes, even our most important asset, we're sending our kids over there to fight this war. i think republicans are very disillusioned. they always seem to be able to be so easily tricked by their so-called representatives and driving this country into the ground. host: have americans hit a fatigue point in iraq? guest: i think we have hit a fatigue point in iraq. even though there was a lot of disagreement about how whether we should have gone to war in the first place, and the issue was probably the central foreign policy issue of the 2008 presidential campaign, despite the kind of polarization that surrounds iraq, whatever your feelings were about whether we should have gone to war or not, i personally wasn't in favor of us going to war in iraq, but i also would have been of the
8:44 am
mind that once we did, it was important that we left iraq a stable, sovereign, self-reliant country, a country that wasn't a source of instability in the region, wasn't a safe haven for terrorism in the region. so i think all americans, regardless of what their views were on the war to begin with, we also have an interest in seeing iraq move forward as a stable country, a country that is at peace with its neighbors and a country that has a relationship, a good relationship with the united states. caller: first of all, thank you for being out there and having this kind of forum. really appreciate it. host: thanks for calling. caller: with our troops pulling back and retreating on the ground, do you think that the iraqi population, because there's going to be a little bit of a power cook you'll there, do you think the population would be a little more educated and a little more
8:45 am
stepped up, or are they going to sit back and let their neighbors come in and squeeze them and do what they want to and keeping us safe and war going? what do you think? guest: great question. on january 1 of last year, the security agreement came into effect, and that was negotiated by the bush administration and the administration of mr. maliki in iraq at the end of 2008, and the security agreement called for u.s. forces to draw down from iraq over the course of three years, between january 1 of 2009 and the end of 2011. one of the benchmarks was -- was that u.s. forces would pull out of iraqi cities in the summer of 2009, and the obama administration moved forward with that commitment. so really, since last summer, the iraqis have had primary security responsibility for the city.
8:46 am
we're currently at about 50,000 forces in iraq. when the obama administration took office, we were at about 144,000. so in the period of time that we've been in office, we've drawn down about 95,000 u.s. forces and the iraqis have taken over primary responsibility, and yet we've seen security trends in iraq stay relatively constant and relatively positive. iraq remains a violent place, but overall security incidents are at their lowest point of the entire war. so i think that's actually a lot of evidence that the iraqi people and the iraqi security forces have stepped up as the united states has stepped back. host: frank, republican in california, good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i'd like to talk about the war. what really concerns me, i thought we were going to pull out of iraq completely.
8:47 am
the amount of money is unbelievable with so many people out of work in the united states, our jobs going overeast. we a major problem. instead of trying to fix the world's problems, we got to try to fix our problems. host: frank, are you still on the line with us? caller: yes. host: does it encourage you that the role of the u.s. has changed now we're in this operation new dawn phase? does that give you any optimism? caller: a little bit. but my problem is not with -- pulling out is fine. but every time we went into a country, the only country we have no troops in that we've been in is vietnam, because they basically kicked us out. we still have troops in japan we're paying for, we got troops in colombia, south america. we got troops all around the world. guest: frank, one of the things you point to, which i think all americans care about, is the fact that we've paid an enormous price in iraq, both in terms of blood, and more than a
8:48 am
trillion dollars spent on the war. the indirect economic costs are probably a lot higher than that, something like 4,400 service men and women have been killed and paid the ultimate price. another 33,000 have been wounded. many others have come back from the war traumatized. so i think it's important for all americans that we end the war in iraq in a way that recognizes the enormous investment that we've made in that country over the past several years. so i think one of the major ways the president thinks about this is that it's very important for us to get out of this war in the right way, to do it responsibly, to do it with dignity, to do it in a way that honors the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. and in a way that leaves iraq a stable, sovereign, and self-reliant country that's a partner with us over the long term, or otherwise it would be hard to argue that any of the sacrifices were worth it.
8:49 am
host: the "new york times" reports today, american military units fired on insurgents while supporting iraqi troops northeast of the capital on sunday. iraqi officials said it was the second such episode since the u.s. declared an end to its combat operations in iraq less than two weeks ago. there are no american casualties in the fighting, and this is in a village about 50 miles from baghdad that has long what are ored members of a sunni insurgent group. are we going to see more of these moments where the u.s. troops will be, as it's phrased, helping the iraqis? guest: yeah, i think that the president outlined the change of mission from combat civility operations really means a focus on three mission sets. one is to continue to advise, train, and support the iraqi security forces as they take the lead in security in the country. the second is to continue counterterrorism operations. and the third is provide other
8:50 am
forms of support for civilian agencies and our military forces that continue to be involved in building up the capacity of iraqi institutions. i think in all of those mission sets, there's the possibility that our troops will come under fire. they have the right to protect themselves. they're going to continue to ads views the security forces. the incidents you mentioned and any other incident that was referenced which occurred in the baghdad area i think are reminders that as the iraqis take the lead in this fight, we continue to support them, our troops will occasionally come under fire. host: expenser in chicago, welcome. caller: good morning. thank you for having me. host: thank you for calling. go right ahead. caller: i think the administration should have gotten more credit for the withdrawal of iraq. i think the gentleman this morning puts allots of parity on what we expect and what
8:51 am
should happen in iraq. i think that the iraqis probably at this point now can see merge as a friend as more than an enemy. you think it brings more stability in the middle east -- i think it president more stability to the middle east. i think georgia and syria, all of those countries are more or less quieter now than what we saw in the last 15 years. guest: i think one of the thing that strikes me, i just got back from my 10th trip in the last 18 months, 13 times overall, is the degree to which the vast majority of iraq's leadership desires a long-term partnership with the united states. i think that's because they see the value in having a close relationship with us, and we see the value in having a close relationship with iraq. i said it earlier, iraq remains a pivotal country in the middle east. it is really at the intersection of a lot of trends
8:52 am
in the region. it's obviously an important country to the global economy because of its oil resources. and iraq candidly has been a source of instability for much of the past 30 or 40 years work we valley have an opportunity to perform iraq from a source of instability to a partner with us in regional stability. host: sense you've been there and seen change over time, especially in the last 18 months, give us a sense of what the security situation is like there, both for americans who may be there, peacekeeping troops, but also iraqis. guest: the first time i visited iraq was in july of 2006. to kind of take your viewers back then and remember what it was like, this is really when iraq had kind of tipped into a sect searn civil war, and it was not unusual to have a bombing on tuesday that killed 100 civilians, and then the
8:53 am
following day, 100 men would show up in a land fill with bullet holes in their heads, executed, and you have this cycle, this cycle that gripped the country. you were seeing 2,000, 3 thousand rouckee civilians killed every single month. fast forward to iraq today, and it's it will a violent place, but violence levels with much, much reduced from where they were in 2006 and 2007. our troops deserve a lot of credit in turning things around. the iraqis deserve a lot of credit in turning away from violence for their security forces stepping up. so iraq, you know, it's still a place where people are killed, but a lot fewer than before, and there are a lot more good days than bad days, and, you know, i think we anticipate that iraq will continue to make slow and steady progress on the security front. host: miami, florida, republican caller.
8:54 am
hi there. good morning. you're on the program with colin kahl. coy yes, i'm on right now? host: you are. welcome. caller: oh, please. thank you. i got to turn my ear phones off and talk to you and still watch the program and listen as well. you know that i'm a very conservative republican, right? host: ok, if you say so. caller:. ok. i'm trying to compare iraq today, the conditions of our troops there, this lack of support of our troops there. we are committed there, and yet what did we do in vietnam? we turned chicken and got out. we lost our first battle of this century, or last century, whichever it was. and as i say, a person who has served his country from the time he was a boy scout until i served twice in the navy during world war ii, i was drafted, and yet my father was head of
8:55 am
the draft board. but i fooled him, because i had already enlisted in the navy as a seaman, which i did serve of at the end of world war ii, but got out instead of taking an appointment i was offered at the u.s. naval academy. now, this is just my history. and i speak -- ever what i speak of, because in serving my country during my experience at ucla as a wild, rabid conservative fighting the communists in ucla on the daily bruin, the paper, which we used to know them as the red rag, and are fority and managing editor of the "daily bruin," which i served as the managing editor, he served as the editor, were honored by the lamb times. host: we'll leave it there and get a response from our guest. caller: thank you for your service. i think that you mentioned that
8:56 am
the americans aren't supportive of the troops. i think one of the things that distinguishes the iraq war from the vietnam war, the degree to which no matter how people felt about the iraq war itself, in general, americans really rally behind our troops and continue to do so. and i know in traveling with secretary gates, the first thing that does he when he travels to iraq and afghanistan is to meet with the troops and to express his thanks for all the hard work and sacrifice that they do and that they accept and that that their families accept, and to tell them that the american people are behind him and that he is the secretary of defense, going to do whatever it takes to -- to get the material support they need to get the job done. i will say, iraq is different from vietnam in another way as well. i don't think one could argue that what we're doing in iraq is quitting iraq or turning tail in iraq. the drawdown in iraq is actually driven by a security agreement, an agreement between two sovereign countries, our
8:57 am
government and the government of iraq. it was nopingted by the bush administration at the very end of that administration. and the obama administration is committed to moving forward with that agreement and drawing down a responsible way. so no one's abandoning iraq. no one's quitting iraq. we're leaving responsibly, and we hope to leave behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant country. i think that's what we're actually seeing emerge. host: jal known arlington, democrats line. good morning. caller: colin, what a great face for the obama administration. they need more people like you who can come on and talk to the american people in a conversation with a serious face, a very, very well dressed. ads i say, most republicans are and the democrats are not, but you have done a great job today. i thank you so much. like the last caller and the tea party and boehner and all of those people who try to make their party a representative of the country, and try to make
8:58 am
the other part of the country and other parties seem like we're not american. it is those callers that lose immediate credibility, immediate credibility when you tell other americans that they quit and run, that they're not american, that they're un-american, that their children service, that their past service, call us traitors or call us quiters and things that -- if these people that call in, which is why we created our website, host: and we'll leave it there and get a response. guest: thank you for the kudos on my fashion sensibility. i could actually hear my staff chuckling from the other room, so i'm sure i'll get grief for that from the office. honestly, my experience in government is there are patriots on all sides. we used to have a tradition in this country of partisanship stopping at the water's edge,
8:59 am
where foreign policy was really an arena for bipartisanship. i think that's probably changed a little bit in recent years. there's probably some blame to go around on all sides for that. but i will say that as it relates to the war in iraq, i think we are actually moving forward in a fairly bipartisan way. i was just on the hill for a series of briefings in the last couple of weeks to talk about our transition from defense department lead role in iraq to a state department lead role, and i met with democratic staffers and republican staffers, and i think most folks are in about the same place. they're supportive of the responsible drawdown in iraq. they want to make sure that we get this thing right, so i'm hopeful we can move forward on iraq in a kind of nonpartisan way or bipartisan way. host: our guest is the deputy assistant defense secretary. he's on a public service leave right now from georgetown university, where he is a professor. .
9:00 am
9:01 am
i myself feel that something should be done about this and that they should take care of, you know, dealing with the situation that they have. host: let's get a response from our guests. can you expand on this a little bit, that there are a lot of contractors making money in iraq? how can you make sure that they do not get too much of a break? the they do not take advantage of the situation over there? guest: in world war ii or korea, it could not be uncommon for an officer to serve as a cook. we had cooks and a lot of mechanics and use of some of that, but a lot of those activities are now conducted by contractors. and you go to a dining facility in iraq or afghanistan and they
9:02 am
are run by the kbr corporation. obviously, we need those contractors. that frees up more soldiers to actually get into the fight and free -- to get into their mission. but we have to make sure there is more oversight to make sure there is not more profiteering going on. i worked with the previous administration with this issue, so i cannot comment about that, but if you go back over the livni of scandals -- the litany of scandals, there is a lot of oversight in congress and in my building. we really endeavor to get what we need at of contractors to support our troops, also while watching out for war profiteering. host: va, mona is on the
9:03 am
republicans line. hi, there. caller: it is easy to forget saddam hussein, who bush got rid of. it is easy to forget the election in iraq. and it is also easy to forget that osama bin laden was standing on the mound during the clinton administration when his secretary of state said he was in good shot of the security people to eradicate him and he said it was not actionable. now, osama bin laden is the main source of all of the enemy's of all of barack middle eastern countries -- all of our middle eastern countries when clinton had the choice of getting rid of him.
9:04 am
guest: what the question raises is the relationship between war in iraq and our, adding extremism and terrorism around the world. i think the caller is right, nobody misses that saddam hussein, one of the bloodiest dictators in the world. probably 1 million people died in the work going to war against iran. he was clearly a danger to the region. at the time before was in government i was not a supporter of the war, but i think there were people who did have u.s. interests at heart who did back the war. with saddam gone, iraq was obviously not a perfect place either.
9:05 am
and violence and turmoil core of the country in the aftermath of the major -- the invasion and we are just now digging ourselves out of that. regardless of where you were in 2003, we all have an interest in seeing iraq be a stable place, and that includes not being a terrorist -- a haven for terrorism. al qaeda did, set up shop in the aftermath of the u.s. invasion and we have an interest in seeing that it does not pose a threat to us aura out -- our allies in the region. -- a threat to us or our allies in the region. host: the iraqi security forces, what are their greatest accomplishments and what are their biggest challenges? guest: i think their biggest -- greatest accomplishment has been how they have kept the
9:06 am
country together. seeing the iraqis stand up, that has been a long time in the making. of our appour iraqi security fos started in 2003 and 2005. currently, there are 60,000 iraqi security forces, iraqi army and iraqi police, special counter-terrorism forces and the like. we have drawn down over 100,000 and handed over security for the entire country. again we have been impressed with which -- the degree to which they have been able to take over security. going forward, they will still have challenges. they still have critical gaps, like being able to defend their airspace. they will need help on training. there will continue to need
9:07 am
logistics and maintenance. -- they will continue to need logistics and maintenance. but the plan is in place to continue to help them out and if we get the resources that we have asked for to continue to support the iraqi security forces we will make good progress by the time our forces leave over the next 16 months. host: we have a question over twitter best asks how long the 50,000 will stay in iraq. guest: general odierno, this is one of the things that he will have to make a recommendation for in the coming months. , he asked for a strong transitional force. the current thinking is that we will stay at dalal until next summer. the general will have -- stay act that level until next summer. the general was to make a decision as to how we will come down from that by 2011.
9:08 am
host: charleston, south carolina, you're on the air. caller: i would like to know what we, the people of charleston, south carolina, can do for iraq. we appreciate this president and we think he is the best president in the world. -- in the old world for bringing it reported back. -- in the whole world for bringing everybody back. guest: i think what the caller is pointing to is that there are still humanitarian issues that the iraqi people face. and it is not just the iraqis to live in iraq proper, but the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, who fled the country both during a saddam hussein and
9:09 am
also during this war. i think the caller could do some research on line to identify a terrible -- identified charitable institutions working both inside and outside of iraq. do some research and find a reputable institution that you are comfortable with and i suspect you will find a way to help. host: iraqis wonder about u.s. jobs employed on american bases and this article talks about how many are employed by the americans. what is being done to make sure they have viable work options, both to keep them productive and, essentially, to keep them from nefarious ways of making money? and also, how to keep the morale posted and are there opportunities boost -- opportunities over there?
9:10 am
guest: we have a challenge when we closed down facilities anywhere in the world. it is true for it happen in alabama and it is true if it happened in kalisha. allujah. a higher percentage of the remaining contractors are actually iraqis as we have the drawdown. that way, money is flowing into the iraqi economy. but ultimately, this is not going to be something that our country addresses. the iraqis are going to settle it and their economy is going to be a way that unemployment increases. the good news is that with the investment in the oil sector increasing substantially, iraq has the ability in several years to become an economic powerhouse. it is exporting between 2
9:11 am
million and 3 million barrels per day of oil. that could double or triple in the next decade and i could have a profound affect on iraq as economy. host: what danger is there in the future, or even in the present, for those who everyone knows work for the americans. guest: was more of a danger at the height of the insurgency. one thing we would face in 2003, 2004, 2005 or in 2006 is that we would go into an area and cleared of insurgents, but then move on to another area. that would leave the iraqis that were left exposed to it and certain groups after we left and they would exact rich addition. i think -- and it would exact
9:12 am
retribution. i think there iraqi security forces have gotten more debt and keeping that from happening. -- more adept at keeping that from happening. host: next call from south .arolina caller caller: i was watching morning joke earlier and there was a guest on that was against the war. when we are fully pulled out who is going to supply the weapons, the tanks, the bullets? we cannot continue to fight these wars? -- we cannot continue to fight these wars. and they're not even happy with iraq.
9:13 am
and now we are dying to get into iran. guest: i was there recently with the secretary and we actually went from iraq to afghanistan directly. the forces that are needed over there are smaller than what you were saying. whether afghanistan can sustain that eventually, i do not know. i suspect that the international committee will have to support that for dot a few years to come. the good news in iraq is that they have the ability to sustain that. the problem in iraq is that they have certain logistics issues,
9:14 am
aerospace and the like. -- aerospace and the like. -- airspace and the like. there is about three or $4 billion of that would round out what they need between now and when our troops depart. host: thank you so much for being with us this morning. coming up next, we will talk about medical malpractice liability costs with michelle mello. >> is 9:14 a.m. eastern time. an update on john vader's remarks yesterday saying that he would rather -- john boehner's remarks as it is saying that he would rather partially extend the bush tax cuts than none, in
9:15 am
response to that was that "continued tax cut for the rich does not make any sense." a federal judge in louisiana was impeached unanimously in the house on corruption charges. it to third sentence -- a two- thirds majority is needed to convict the judge. in maddow is given annually by the national constitution center for human rights work. later in the day, mr. blair will take part in a discussion about his new book. and for the first time since january, the man who was accused of trying to blow up a jetliner and christmas is back in court today. his lawyer recently said they have been working on a plea
9:16 am
deal. but a woman who was a passenger on the flight is against the deal, saying the man should be put away for life. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span. >> every weekend on c-span3 experience a american history tv, starting saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern, 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. the museums, historical sites, and college campuses as pop history professors and leading historians delve into america's past. american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c- span3. >> with the house and senate back in session, follow congress using c-span video library's chronicle, just click on congress and you can access speakers, remarks and videos.
9:17 am
it is all free, any time. but watch what would you want when you want -- watch what you want when you want. >> "washington journal" continues. host: dr. michelle mello is a law and public health professor at harvard. she joins us this morning good morning. medical malpractice, tell us how the debate has been refrained about medical malpractice and the liability situation since the health care bill has passed. guest: one of the topics leading up to a vote -- medical health care reform was, what is the potential for liability reform to play a big role in curbing costs. there were wildly varying estimates on the top of medical liability and the potential for
9:18 am
reform to make a contribution. i think this study has clarified that although medical liability costs us a tremendous amount of money every year, in proportion of total health-care spending is actually very small. if we want savings, we probably will have to look elsewhere. host: and we talk about the number, $55.6 billion as the overall medical liability costs and is 2.4% of total health-care spending. tell me about the work you have been doing lately with the conclusions. guest: that was the overall bottom line that we came up with. the we did is set brought -- separate out the medical systems cost. medical indemnity costs, which are the amounts that we pay to not practice plaintiffs are actually pretty small. they bring in at about $5.7 billion per year. 80% of the cost is the so-
9:19 am
called medical practice, doctors who are ordering medical procedures and visit primarily, if not solely, to reduce their liability costs. those come in at about $4.6 billion per year. and we spend about $4 billion in legal costs, litigation as well as over had to run insurance companies, risk- management offices and other types of administrative offices that help us receive and malpractice claim. host: we're talking about medical liability costs with dr. michelle mello. she is a professor at harvard university and is joining us from women's hospital in boston. medical malpractice is a huge topic for our viewers and listeners as we have talked about the health care debate over the past month, really, the past year or two.
9:20 am
the numbers are on the screen. dr. mello, this study that you would -- that you let, in the conclusion, you and your team write a that the $55 billion is less than imagined estimates put forward in the health reform debate. could you talk to us about this idea of the psychology of this and political value of dealing with this? guest: one element of the cost of malpractice litigation that we could not and did not measure is the psychological, reputational impact that it could have on the medical
9:21 am
industry and what impact it could have for them to remain in practice. when doctors have faced escalating malpractice insurance premiums and pressure, we were not able to measure that in this study. but it does suggest that even though it does -- medical malpractice reform may help -- may not help with the money contributed, it may help doctors to come to work and deal better with their patients. host: you and your team right that some aspects of health reform may reduce medical liability costs, extending health insurance coverage to the entrance may reduce their need to bomb a practice claims.
9:22 am
as you have analyzed and looked at the health care bill that was signed into law, what are some of the effects of medical malpractice? guest: there is not a lot that affects medical malpractice. there is some experimentation at the state level with liability reforms that might help. but that money has not actually been appropriated. what affects more are the so- called indirect effects of liability. we discussed in the paper that if you take better care of people in terms of offering better health insurance and enable them to receive care with our huge expense in the aftermath of a medical injury, they can use those to get these procedures covered.
9:23 am
we do not maintain excellence systems of unemployment and disability insurance in this country. unless and until we do, we will still have large numbers of people who look toward tort litigation to get those expenses covered. host: our first caller is call on the democrats line in westport, conn., good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask you, i think there have been a few studies comparing the use of tort reform in the use of county "a" as opposed to the use of it in county"b." can you comment on any of those studies and what you think their ability is? guest: our estimates in the paper studies that compare states that have different levels of tort reforms in place
9:24 am
and do doctors order more tests and procedures in states that have imposed credit controls on liability costs and the answer is, yes. we do see a utilization of some kinds of health care services in settings where strong toward reforms or caps on damages are in place. it is probably 5% or 6% lower costs. the savings is not huge. and it comes mainly from medicare patients. and they come from studies of a particular occurrence of health care conditions, such as cardiac care. it is a little dangerous to generalize after the national level, as we do in the paper, but these reforms do make a modest difference. host: we have a graphic here from 2000 here -- 2008.
9:25 am
and it asks if they disagree or agree with those positions. one of the greatest was relying on clinical judgment rather than technology is becoming more risky because of malpractice suits. can you reflect on how physicians are feeling about their own culpability in the climate of large right now? guest: what is really striking when you go around the country to talk to physicians either formally or informally is the consistent level of fear and discomfort about liability. in states that have tort reforms, doctors actually do have test for certain procedures, but when you ask doctors have they feel about things you do not see a lot of
9:26 am
variation around toward reform. t reform. chlorofor host: with go to philadelphia, where damien joins us on the line. ob/gyn inm in philadelphia and it is interesting because i think you quoted it was $55 billion total cost, but are wondering, hey, if you localize that geographically and also depending on fields. are cost are horrendous. and we have had many offices closed and one of the primary reasons for that is insurance.
9:27 am
if you narrow it down, it is the liability insurance that has led to an increase in excess to go before patients. guest: it is an important insight that you are bringing coming from one of the hardest- hit areas by insurance premiums in the last 10 years and the most dangerous risk of being pursued and the cost if your suit. one thing to keep in mind is that our estimates are in national total and within the national total are very substantial variations from state to state and from clinical specialty to clinical specialty in the realities that doctors pay -- faced every day in looking at insurance premiums. we look at the very high cost of the suits.
9:28 am
host: what does that mean for patient care? guest: that has been the big question over low as 10 years and the medical industry has and never to make the case in washington that this now practice insurance is not just a dispute between physicians and the public, but it is causing positions to go out of business, forcing them to retire early, avoiding high-risk patients like lawyers and others and taking other steps to reduce liability. it turns out those claims have been difficult to document outside anecdotal example. we can all point to a hospital services and physicians who have, in fact, curtailed the services that they have offered, but on the national level it has been hard to measure the effect.
9:29 am
host: comer in from twitter, -- coming from twitter, -- guest: it is a separate issue as to how patients approached liability. but evidence suggests that patients are very price sensitive when it comes to health care services, even those that we consider essential and non winnable -- non--- wave of bowl. copper -- non-waivable. host: next call is from florida. caller: i have worked in a medical insurance for the last 25 years. we really need tort reform. people are making a living off
9:30 am
of insurance claims and it is ridiculous. guest: tell me a little bit more about the insurance claims that are being submitted. host: i think i already lost tracie. my apologies. is that something that you have heard before? guest: i wonder if she meant fraudulent claims, which is different from our practice insurance. that is a very big problem. host: let's move on to mike from new jersey. caller: my situation is, because of a surgery that i have been told by several other doctors that should never have been done in the first place and i was told guaranteed 94% that i would come out fine, and i have worked all my life and never had a problem, and that i find out that this particular doctor, his name is on the attorney general's website.
9:31 am
to avoid malpractice suits he pays off settlement. why don't they address that? i think a lot of these doctors need better schooling because now my life is over. guest: it sounds like there could be a couple of issues going on in your particular day -- case. one is, how good a job are doctors doing in conveying the risks to patients. 95% recovery is not a guarantee. it is a statistical likelihood. but patients often do not hear that. and one of the difficulties in sifting through a bad outcome like yours is whether it is not practice or are you part of the 5%? you should only be awarded in our country if you are injured be -- due to negligence.
9:32 am
there are other countries are run the world that you do not have to go to court and prove negligence. there are other doctors out there that are responsible for hurting people over and over again and are we doing a good enough job of ferreting them out,? we are not particularly aggressive using our state medical boards and other disciplinary bodies that go after these kinds of problems. we tend to live on -- rely on lawsuits. the problem with that is only about 2% or 3% of people like you do experience negative outcomes and can file ever file a claim. if this is a matter of confidence, in dismissing the overwhelming portion of cases.
9:33 am
host: a question from twitter -- guest: that is a contentious issue. there has been a state drop in malpractice premiums, but the actual contribution to a tort reform is controversial -- controversial. host: next call, go ahead. caller: could you address the use of medical equipment and its influence not only on the cost increase, but the change in the standard care amongst positions? guest: it is an important question, that the force of technology is influencing outcome. it also produces more risk in some procedures.
9:34 am
a third factor is looking at care and pushing a jury to think about should a doctor in mississippi have the same level of skill and resources as a doctor practicing in downtown boston. and increasingly, courts have moved toward this national standard of care and do expect more provide -- more isolated areas to be making use of this technology. that has contributed to this so- called medical arms race. is it good or bad? certainly, it will drive costs up. the bat -- the good news is that if " keep doctors -- it will force doctors to keep up with the times and keep up with good quality care. host: next call from michigan. you're on the air.
9:35 am
please turn down your television. caller: i have an experience that is perhaps unique. i was in the cadet program in the air force, so i would say that elevates me. i can be a little more knowledgeable and i went into business in chicago for many years. if you are in business and you are not very good at what you do, you are history. my daughter went to medical school and my youngest daughter is a trial lawyer who now works for an insurance company, so i have an inside, from both sides of someone in medical school and somebody that now practices medical malpractice as a lawyer. i am 72 now and in looking back, in the industry, if someone was as competently trained as doctors are in
9:36 am
diligence, you would not last in business. guest: i think you are making an important point about forces of competition in the medical marketplace. they just do not work the way they do in other lines of business and we have to take some responsibility for that. despite the increasing amount of information available to us, we do not use it. we still make -- choose our doctors are not based on personal referrals or how they make us feel rather than researching their performance. one of the messages are around ferreting out those problems is trying to understand when things go wrong in medical care, how often is it due to an incompetent physician, a careless physician, verses breakdowns in care? we looked at this issue and we found that in the overwhelming majority of cases, there is
9:37 am
always an element of a lapse in judgment. but there is always an element where equipment did not work at the right time, i handoffs between doctors and nurses did not go well. it is not always as black and white as it may seem. it is a lot harder than just going after a bad apple doctors. host: michelle michelle holds a ph.d. from chapel hill. -- michelle mello holds a ph.d. from chapel hill. let's go to another call. caller: i went to a poem
9:38 am
enologist -- a poll enologist with a breathing issue and the man looked at me and said you need to lose weight. no, i'm quite familiar with my history. in january i was in a coma with respiratory failure. had the man done possible testing i would have been fine. ch in my neck.rad not everyone who walks in a doctor's office is looking to sue. and my life is totally changed now. the problem is that we do need a system to identify these particular conditions. also, do not think it is fair for people to sue just to make money.
9:39 am
guest: i'm very sorry to hear about your case and i think it represents some of the thorniest problems in the system. it raises the question of can we think of a better way to help people that have been injured by like you. the area of kamras -- of mr. or delayed diagnoses is one of the most, difficult. sometimes negligence is involved. oftentimes doctors are making their best guess and are just wrong. my question is, should patients have to prove negligence in order to receive their allowance to maintain a living in the aftermath of their medical injury? i just think that is a better
9:40 am
way. host: are there limits in the payout set by the states? guest: about half the states impose some kind of limitation on noneconomic damages. those are the awards for pain and suffering. there are another six states that kept the total amount, and that includes things like their past and future income and medical expenses. and there are other states that do not have a form -- a firm cap, but they have other types of reform that may affect the bottom line. host: but go to the next call. caller: my mother was killed by a nurse. the doctor was yelling at her, you're not supposed to do that. they are not even a hospital anymore. we need to get rid of incompetent people. back in 1988, they passed a law
9:41 am
for $40 million for them to stop teaching. they got the $4 million in the new york school. also, they ought to have their competency level higher. there is a lot going on out there. for your, i'm so sorry loss. did you sue? caller: no, it is not even a hospital anymore. guest: i'm very sorry to hear that, too. the one of the things that makes it difficult to maintain high standards is when you experience a shortage of working -- of workers. that continues to be the case with nurses for geriatric patients. in other cases, they are covering up in medical error.
9:42 am
i have seen a greater willingness from some institutions to admit when there has been a medical error and other constitutions doing things like flying out and loved one when there has been something go wrong, or providing child care. that can help prevent and leaving the patient feeling twice injured -- prevent the patient feeling towards injured. host: good morning, in vienna. caller: i believe doctors do their best. they take an oath to do their best. i think people pick their own
9:43 am
doctors in almost all cases and doctors should not after have any malpractice insurance. i also believe if we are going to make any major change in the tremendous cost of health care coverage today, we have to make significant changes. and even though you think that malpractice is a fairly low portion of the total cost, and maybe it is, we need to do everything we can to get the cost down. guest: the question is, if we get rid of malpractice insurance, are also getting rid of not practice litigation? i do not think any physicians would like to live in a world where they are subject to liability that they cannot insure the risk. i think an unintended side effect of letting the chips fall where they may is actually higher health-care costs in
9:44 am
that thereafter be others to step into pickup those costs. health insurers, for example, would be a greater portion of those costs because they would them as able to recruit they can now in about half the states. senator i agree that is the answer. -- i appreciate your sentiment, but i'm not sure i agree that is the answer. caller: i was wondering, when it comes to medical malpractice liability costs, when a patient is in a hospital and exposed to a bacteria and dies from the bacteria, they came in with one condition and all of a sudden being in the care of a hospital they are exposed to bacteria, which doctors and to admit is
9:45 am
caught in the house to lose a loved one, but when you start doing your research, kenya file malpractice on something like that? is that something hard -- can you file not practice on something like that? is that something hard to prove? guest: you do not have to just proved that they died because their real lives was causally related to this bacteria. -- that their illness was causally related to this bacteria. you talk to prove that the infection prevention standards -- you have to prove that the infection prevention standards were so far below what is reasonable that they need this criteria of negligible. these conditions are coming to be realized as preventable, but
9:46 am
it is very difficult to prevent an accurate -- to prevent. it would be nice to be able to take paris -- take care of these patients affected by these kinds of events without going to court. host: we have a twitter writer who asks, what percentage of protections are there for doctors to ask -- who act as good samaritans? guest: there was some protection there on the state level for a while, but now there is some on the federal level. host: we have david on the line from north carolina. caller: i do not have a problem with c-span and ms. mello said
9:47 am
shutting a very narrow light on liability with regard to -- shedding a very narrow light on liability with regard to this industry, but it is unfair to the public to shed such a narrow light. you need to think about the total context in our society and how people can get justice. most people do not know about the public to the doctrine. they do not know that the police and district attorneys are immune from prosecution, immune from liability. c-span will not cover the public do doctrine. we have a case in north carolina here where domestic violence shelters are asking for immunity because they screwed up and left a back door open and an irate husband came in and killed his wife. everybody wants to be immune from liability. please, when you bring a subject up like this, say, given the public duty doctrine, now we will shed a very narrow light on
9:48 am
medical liability. i would appreciate it if y'all would do that. host: -- guest: thank you for your call, but not aware if the public to the doctrine applies to the medical industry in any way. it is outside my area of expertise. host: as congress was looking over the parameters of the health care legislation and looking at what would be included, to you feel like to the issues that you were raising at the time were entering the public dialogue in a more vocal way because of the health care debate? guest: i think so. this debate came on the tail of incredible concern of medical malpractice insurance crisis. there was enormous liability from 2000 through about 2006. about that time interest rates started to stabilize and
9:49 am
attention are diverted elsewhere, in part in 2008 due to federal health reform. that was an opportunity to revive interest in this issue. and it was something that the president chose to do, a deliberate choice to raise this as an issue in the context of the federal health debate. why did he do that? i think there was a sincere belief that the cost of medicine was a low hanging fruit that he could go after to try to get medical costs down. also, tort reform has long been a republican issue primarily at a time that he was looking for republican votes for health reform, and more important, in support of the lobby for his health-care package, it made sense to return to an issue that is important for him. host: did you think more will happen when it comes to tort reform in the health care bill? did you have a sense of the direction that it was going to take? guest: yeah, i was a little
9:50 am
surprised that there was not more in the end just because it was so important to these republicans, but in the end, i think they realized that even this issue was not going to be enough to get the kind of votes they needed from republicans and like many other issues, it got traded away. medical for -- medical reform has always been a state issue. a medical liability law has always been made up by state judges and legislators and always has been. in some respects, the effort to federalize it in the last few years has been a political aberration. host: julio, on the republican line, go ahead.
9:51 am
caller: there are many other countries for which litigious activities is far, far less than in the u.s. i'm wondering about malpractice, or the whole idea that if something goes wrong there has to be someone responsible. there cannot be any such thing as an accident or an occurrence for which people of good will happen to make mistakes from time to time. in our country, it appears that someone always has to be found responsible. can you comment on other countries and whether this sort of thing -- where malpractice themselves and lawsuits are subject to the kind of thing we have here? guest: i think you're right, there is more a culture of accountability here in u.s. than in other countries, and a higher level of litigation across all
9:52 am
sectors, not just the medical malpractice area. historically, we have done a lousy job of providing the kind of insurance them i'd need patience needs in the aftermath of a medical -- that might meet patients' needs in the aftermath of a medical injury. i think there are two factors going on here. the one is cholesterol and the other is, do we drive people to a liability -- one is cultural and the other is, do we drive people to reliability system by failing to meet their needs in other ways? host: our next caller is joe from pennsylvania. caller: my question is along the
9:53 am
lines of hard to make it better without taking people to court. i refer you to a book [unintelligible] i have a daughter who has leukemia and has had to have a transplant. i see the problem as the competency of the doctors, the failure to communicate with each other, and the motivation to remain focused on the job every day in a positive way. what i see in my daughter's case is good doctors who do not talk to each other, good doctors are among a group that includes not so good doctors, and the inability to break through the net of -- i do not know what you
9:54 am
would call it -- resistance to looking hard and looking at the whole patient. my daughter, her situation is so complex that on her last hospitalization, which was last month, she had doctors from infectious disease. she had doctors never orthopedic. she had her regular hematology group and then general practitioners. her problem was a basic problem of cellulitis, which was not even recognized when i took her to the emergency room because she also has deep vein thrombosis. guest: i'm very sorry to hear she is having a difficult time. i think that case does, as you say, highlight the great complexity involved with medical care. that traces us back to this point are raised earlier about
9:55 am
system breakdown. and your question is how do we prevent medical injuries as a way to prevent medical lawsuits, and that is the question to be asking. we can get lawsuit settled of norcross, but trial lawyers and other patients are saying, how about preventing injuries in the first place? that, of course, is harder to do than just passing a cap on damages or in some other away affecting what plant is can get in court. with respect to other complex cases like your daughters, there are a number of things going on in there. communication, team work and training, learning to coordinate care, using technicians -- education technology more effectively. i think these are all things that the medical industry taking very seriously and the federal government is taking very seriously right now as well.
9:56 am
there were huge appropriations in the last two years to try to provide more seamless care in a fragmented system. these problems will be very difficult to root out. columbia,s get to tenn. in on the conversation. caller: good morning to c-span and your guest this morning. i appreciate the opportunity. i really appreciate the transparency that c-span gives to all three branches of our government. regrettably, though, our government is showing its true colors. we have three reforms that have been taking place, one in health, and unfortunately for the taxpayers they lost that battle because of the insurance companies that have a stranglehold on the public.
9:57 am
the other is the financial reforms, and we know that the banks and wall street has won that battle. and the immigration reform, everybody knows where the american taxpayer stands there, too. i remember something in the scriptures about 2000 years ago there was a man who walked to this planet and he went around healing and he did it with a compassionate hand. and then there were those that were corrupt and evil and said, you do this by the devil, and he simply said, how can you escape the damnation of hell? there are a lot of corrupt officials in america today that will find those words coming to them. thank you very much. guest: thank you for your comment. host: a comment from twitter,
9:58 am
what percentage of malpractice cases actually go to trial? guest: it is about 10% to 15%. those are the cases that get all the attention. plaintiffs only win one out of five cases that go to trial, but when they do when they often wind very big. it can make it very difficult for insurance companies to price insurance in the right way and to ultimately keep from having a big shock to the system when doctors get their insurance premium built. host: michele welt -- michelle mello joins us from brigham and women's university hospital. thank you for joining us. she is the lead author of on this study and we have been talking this morning about some of the conclusions they came to in their research. coming up today in washington, we have been talking about
9:59 am
congress this morning, but we have not talked much about the president's schedule. later on today he will be visiting fairfax, va. with a local family at their home. this afternoon, he will honor championship teams and student athletes from across the n.c.a.a. with a reception at the white house and he will be welcomin


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on